New York Jets rookie defensive back Jamal Adams called the football field a “perfect place to die” after being asked about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) during a fan event Monday.
Andy Vasquez of NorthJersey.com passed along Adams’ response to the inquiry about one of the NFL’s hot-button topics and noted it was met with applause by some in attendance.
Last week, the JAMA Network provided updated results of testing by the VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston University School of Medicine and the Concussion Legacy Foundation into the presence of CTE in former football players, which can only currently be detected with an autopsy after death.
The investigation found 99 percent (110 of 111) of former NFL players were “neuropathologically diagnosed” with the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma. In addition, 87 percent (177 of 202) of players from any level of football showed CTE.
“In a convenience sample of deceased football players who donated their brains for research, a high proportion had neuropathological evidence of CTE, suggesting that CTE may be related to prior participation in football,” the report concluded.
On Saturday, longtime Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said it’s an issue that must be considered when he thinks about retirement after the upcoming 2017 season, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“Just all those things combined—being healthy, being able to play catch with my kids. I feel good mentally, I know this new study that came out that 90 percent [of NFL] players’ brains who were studied had CTE,” he said. “There’s a lot of scary things, and I think my wife would be OK if I hung it up, too. But I still love the guys, I still love the game, so it was right for me to come back and give it everything I have this year.”
Meanwhile, Gary Phillips of JetsWire noted Adams’ head coach, Todd Bowles, said over the weekend he’s yet to feel any lingering effects from his playing days after a safety, but he understands the concern of younger players given the increase in information about head injuries.
“I understand it. Obviously back then, it was a great thing to knock somebody out. That’s how you grew up. That’s how a lot of guys got in the Hall of Fame,” he said. “Now, the game is changing and player’s safety with medical being more advanced than it was back when I played, you see a lot more things coming up from an injury standpoint so I understand the concern.”
The Jets selected Adams, 21, with the sixth overall pick in the 2017 draft. The safety is expected to step right into a starting role for the rebuilding organization.